Goodbye to Teddy Forstmann

November 21, 2011, 8:37 PM UTC

A private equity original passes away.

The private equity world lost one of its true pioneers this weekend, when Teddy Forstmann succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 71.

Forstmann was a market iconoclast, publicly deriding the overuse of leverage – he coined the term “barbarians at the gate” — as a way to contrast his firm with rivals like KKR. He also was one of very few buyout bigs to effectively walk away, letting his firm Forstmann Little & Co. fade away several years ago (due, in part, to a very public legal battle with the State of Connecticut – over some troubled telecom deals that illustrated the folly of cross-fund investing).

If any Term Sheet readers have memories of Teddy that they’d like to share, please email them over and we’ll put them in a future post. A press release includes comments from three former U.S. Secretaries of State (all Republican, perhaps because Forstmann was a major GOP fundraiser). It also includes the following details:

The family invites friends to call at Frank E. Campbell at 1076 Madison Avenue at 81st Street, on Monday, November 21st from 6:00-8:30 PM and Tuesday, November 22nd from 12:00-3:00 PM and from 5:00-7:00 PM; A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Tuesday, November 29th at 10:00 AM.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to The Children’s Scholarship Fund (

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